Millennium Post

GVK wins green permit for $10-bn Oz coal mine

GVK Hancock, a 79:21 joint venture between GVK and Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting, now needs to get coal rail operator Aurizon Holdings onboard and sign coal sales agreement to begin work on the project.

'After over six years of comprehensive environmental assessments and detailed planning, GVK Hancock has been granted an Environmental Authority (Clearance) for its Alpha Coal Project in the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland,' the company said in a statement.

GVK's Alpha Coal Mine is located in the Galilee Basin with the first coal lot expected to be extracted by 2016. When fully commissioned, the mine will produce 32 million tonnes of thermal a year of low ash, low sulphur coal for export to the Asian market.

The Land Court of Queensland in Australia had earlier granted conditional clearance to Alpha Coal Mine project. 'This is one of the most significant milestones in the development of our Galilee Basin coal projects till date which will create one of the most remarkable pieces of regional and economic developments Queensland has seen for decades,' GVK founder Chairman and Managing Director GVK Reddy said. The company said that it further plans to meet every environmental condition that has been set by regulatory authorities.

'This milestone takes us another step closer towards commencing our proposed Alpha mine, which will create around 4,000 jobs during its three year construction and more than 1,800 jobs over its 30 plus years of operation.

'We've invested tens of millions of dollars and thousands of man hours assessing, planning and engaging with communities to reach this stage,' GVK Vice Chairman G V Sanjay Reddy said in the statement.

Stating it as a significant development, the company said that it takes GVK another step closer towards bringing on line a new low cost, low ash, low sulphur, high quality thermal coal basin, offering the ability to lower emissions from coal fired power generation.

The volume and magnitude of GVK's Alpha coal project's large, shallow and very flat coal seams would enable large scale mining techniques, thus ensuring that the proposed mine remains cost competitive even in current tough market conditions, it said.

The combination of large scale mining techniques, favourable geology and other techniques deliver a free-on- board price that would ensure GVK Hancock's Alpha mine remains relatively immune to cyclical coal prices, it added.

Once the infrastructure joint venture with Australian Rail freight major Aurizon is finalised and the regulatory bodies have addressed litigious challenges to approvals, the company said it will execute coal off-take agreements before finalising all financing arrangements.
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